OS/2 eZine - http://www.os2ezine.com
February 16, 2002
Robert Basler is the president of Aurora Systems, Inc. and has been a dedicated OS/2 user since he tired of rebooting Windows 3.1 twenty times a day. He spends what free time he can manage travelling the world. Photo was taken at Franz Josef glacier, New Zealand.

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Buy the CD 'This Space for Rent' by Pete Grubbs

From The Editor

No More Convenience Packs

IBM made a sad but not unexpected announcement January 16th: there will be no more convenience packs for OS/2. You can read the announcement here. Also on that page is a nice list of all the new drivers and features that IBM has added to OS/2 in the last couple of years.

IBM OS/2 Web Browser Version 1.1

IBM released a new version of their web browser this month. Version 1.1 adds XML version 1.0 support and includes some performance improvements.

Warpzilla 0.9.8

Warpzilla keeps getting better. The new version is as fast or faster than the IBM Web Browser 1.0 (I haven't tried 1.1 yet) and just keeps getting prettier. Page rendering has definitely improved with far fewer oddities than I have noticed with previous versions. One feature I hadn't noticed before is when you right click on a link, you can "Open in new Tab" which adds a tab bar to the top of the current window, and you can switch from page to page without having to have more than one browser window open. I was particularly amused to see a combination Clock/arrow mouse pointer like Windows' famed "not really an hourglass" pointer in this release. I did a double-take the first time I noticed it.

Newsgroups are a lot faster, moving this part of Mozilla well into the usable range, but it still constantly asks for my user id/password even though I keep telling it to remember them, and unfortunately Mozilla still won't save pictures from newsgroups. If you right click on the image and click "Save Image" nothing happens. This works fine in web pages, but nothing happens if you do this in news.

Several annoying bugs seem to be gone in this new release. Mozilla's web browser used to drive me crazy by insisting on going back to the top of the page a second or so after I finished scrolling to the bottom. Also, the skins seem much more reliable, I used to see crashes if I changed skins, and downloading new skins is now very slick. There are also some new bugs, on the newsgroups screen sometimes when it goes to add the scrollbar to the list of messages it increases that pane size, then changes its mind and shrinks it, then grows it again, then shrinks it... News still works, but it is rather distracting to have the message wiggling up and down.

Catching the Bad Guys

This is a great story of someone using tech smarts to get back their stolen laptop. The crook must have wondered what kept going wrong with their "new" laptop. Makes me wonder how I might make a solution like this for my laptop.

Flash 5 Now Available

InnoTek, makers of Flash 4 and the upcoming Virtual PC for OS/2 have released Flash 5 this month. It allows you to view all Flash movies including the latest from Macromedia Flash 5. Unfortunately, no one stepped up to fund this release, so there is a small fee if you want to use the software. InnoTek has made the software available for download for evaluation purposes with a nag screen, but for just 20 euros (U.S. $17.69), if you spend any time at all at Flash enabled sites, it will be worth the purchase. It is great to see companies like InnoTek making a living at improving OS/2 users' ability to operate in our Windows-centric world.

AMouse 2.0 Beta Updated

Last month I reviewed Amouse 2.0 Beta and this month there's an updated driver which includes finished support for 4 and 5 button mice. You can get it from www.nbsoftware.de. I've set my fourth mouse button to pop up the task list. I just tap it with my thumb and up comes the list. I love that.

NetDrive - eZine Made Easy

I installed NetDrive for OS/2 this month and I am now within reach of completely automated production of the OS/2 eZine. NetDrive makes any FTP server look just like a directory on a hard disk which means you can use Workplace Shell, or even XCOPY to copy files to and from any FTP site. This is much handier than using FTP-PM or OS/2's FTP folder which doesn't like files with spaces in the name and seems to be somewhat unreliable.

I did find that some FTP sites gave me network errors if I didn't do a DIR of a directory before I tried to write files to it, but in every case a second try on the command would succeed.

Big thanks to the makers of NetDrive, as some time next month I should be able to build and upload the entire OS/2 eZine with just a single command. I don't miss FTP-PM one bit.

A Personal Thank You

I'd just like to say Thank You to Brian Havard, the fellow who maintains Apache for OS/2. I upgraded my company's Apache web server this week and it is really nice to see an OS/2 package that is absolutely current relative to other operating systems. He always seems to have both the current release and beta packages available in a variety of precompiled configurations. This probably takes quite a bit of effort, and he likely doesn't get the appreciation he deserves.

Interesting Website of the Month

While not OS/2 related, www.infiltration.org is certainly interesting and has some great stories of exploring. I've spent a lot of time in caves, but not so much in human-made ones like the ones here.

Looking for More OS/2 eZine Content?

How about writing it? The OS/2 eZine has to be a community effort, the more writers we have to spread the work around, the better the issues will be and the easier it is for everyone. If you're working on a cool OS/2 project that you think the readership of the OS/2 eZine would find interesting, we're looking for one-off articles as well as short series and monthly columns to fill the pages of the OS/2 eZine. Trying some cool new software? How about writing a short review? It doesn't take much time and you can win some great prizes!

Please visit the OS/2 eZine Pressroom for submission guidelines and article ideas. If you have any questions, let me know at editor@aurora-systems.com.

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